1. going beyond the requirements of duty.
2. greater than that required or needed; superfluous.
The manner of the Quartermaster had that air of supererogatory courtesy about it which almost invariably denotes artifice; for, while physiognomy and phrenology are but lame sciences at the best, the perhaps lead to as many false as right conclusions, we hold that there is no more infallible evidence of insincerity of purpose, short of overt acts, than a face that smiles when there is no occasion, and the tongue that is out of measure smooth. – James Fenimore Cooper, The Pathfinder, 1840
But you are always given to surprise me with abundant kindness–with supererogatory kindness. I believe in that, certainly. – Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Elizabeth Barrett Browning to H. S. Boyd, August 14, 1844
Supererogatory stems from the Medieval Latin superērogātōrius, with the root word ērogāre meaning “to pay out.” It entered English in the late 1500s.
1. air, bearing, or demeanor, as showing character, feeling, etc.: a man of noble mien.
She is lovely, the hair, makeup and costumes are excellent, but the actress works so hard to recreate the movie star’s voice, mien and magic that the distance is only magnified. – Alessandra Stanley, “Review: ‘Grace of Monaco,’ a Fractured Fairy Tale on Lifetime,” New York Times, May 24, 2015
His manners in private were even more mild and attractive than in public; for there was a certain dignity in his mien during his lecture which in his own house was replaced by the greatest affability and kindness. – Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; or The Modern Prometheus, 1818
Mien is most likely a shortening of the word demean meaning “to conduct oneself in a specified manner.” It entered English in the 1500s.
Make it a Great Day!!! 😊
doctrinaire • \dahk-truh-NAIR\ • adjective
: attempting to put into effect an abstract doctrine or theory with little or no regard for practical difficulties
“As doctrinaire as I may be about players being ready to play every day,” Coach said, “they are also human beings; I need to accept they are going to need breaks once in a while.”
“We use endorsement interviews to see how candidates interact with their opponents, how politically daring (ordoctrinaire) they are and whether they’re thinking more about the public’s good or their own campaigns.” — Elizabeth Sullivan, Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), September 21, 2014
Did you know?
Doctrinaire didn’t start out as a critical word. In post-revolutionary France, a group who favored constitutional monarchy called themselves Doctrinaires. Doctrine in French, as in English, is a word for the principles on which a government is based; it is ultimately from Latindoctrina, meaning “teaching” or “instruction.” But both ultraroyalists and revolutionists strongly derided any doctrine of reconciling royalty and representation as utterly impracticable, and they resented the Doctrinaires’ influence over Louis XVIII. So when doctrinaire became an adjective, “there adhered to it some indescribable tincture of unpopularity which was totally indelible” (Blanc’s History of Ten Years 1830-40, translated by Walter K. Kelly in 1848).